Prism Town is a small town with a couple thousand people living there, plus several hundred college students during school season. Lush meadows and a colorful countryside make this pastoral hamlet a hidden beauty.
Magnus Institute for Pokemon Studies Edit
On the outskirts of town is a small college that specializes in teaching equipping aspiring trainers with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed as a Pokemon trainer.
Most of the students who attend get a two-year degree in Pokemon studies. This degree teaches the basics of being a Pokemon trainer and grants the student a starter Pokemon, Pokegear, and 10 standard pokeballs.
Professor Hickory is the father figure at this college, with an interest in studying the way humans and Pokemon bond and work together to become more as a team than they could ever be as individuals. He's a strong, determined character, stocky and well-built.
Players might see other notable figures from time to time. Gym leaders and famous researchers drop by to teach intensive 2-week courses about their specialty. And nearly a dozen alumni have gone on to beat the elite four while others have other achievements to bring them merit. Many stop by to check on their alma mater, perhaps to participate in a research project or teach a class, or maybe just out of nostalgia.
The First Year Edit
Here is a suggested way to introduce the players to the rules, tutorial style, and also set up the game as you see fit. (Make sure you've already walked players through making a character sheet before this.)
Introducing the Rules Edit
Starting your campaign at the Institute allows for an effective method of introducing the rules and getting the players together. Start the players at the bus stop on the way into town and bribe them each with a kudo to get starting talking to each other about why they decided to attend the Institute and what they hope to accomplish. You could have a random townsperson ask them what they picked as their starter. When they registered for courses, they also gave their top picks for a starter Pokemon (any unevolved, non-legendary, non-fossil Pokemon should do). This is a standard question to ask any student, as you would asking about a major.
The trainers will all need to get to the Magnus Institute for Pokemon Studies, and this is where you introduce the skill rolling system. If no one lives in town, they can all try to ask directions, which requires an influence or empathy roll. If someone does live there, they can suggest a back-alley, over-the-fences shortcut that requires an athletics roll. Influence could allow the player to hitch a ride.
The players will meet at the institute, and as they're journeying there you can throw some light, difficulty 70 tasks at them to , before they even get their first Pokemon. These will be things like finding the Institute or asking directions, jumping a fence to take a shortcut, picking up anything they need, etc... And it's a time to introduce the basic mechanics of skill rolls as well as saves.
The opening ceremony has about 50-100 new arrivals gather in the auditorium while Professor Hickory gives a brief speech.
|Professor Hickory's Speech Notes|
|Students, welcome to the Magnus Institute for Pokemon Studies. This venerable institution will be your home for the next two years as you learn about the world of Pokemon and your place in it. In our humility, we keep this time short, because there is so much left to be known about Pokemon. We can show you the fundamentals, but we in turn are depending you. Yes, each and every one of you. After your time at this institute is over, we will be sending you out into Pesino where your real learning will take place. It is there that you will make new and exciting discoveries with the potential to broaden the knowledge pool for all mankind. We ask that as you do so, you bring this wisdom back to us, that we can pass it on to the next class of students who, like you, are looking forward to knowing ever more.
Some of you will specialize in battle, learning to push your Pokemon to their limits. Others may choose to pursue the path of scholarship. Many of you will try to find practical ways to work with your Pokemon in business, science, or art, combining human knowledge and Pokemon talent to do more together than either could alone. Whatever path you take, we will do everything in our power to support you.
Your courses here will cover the basics of human knowledge. You'll learn to survive in the wild, to catch Pokemon, to raise them and battle them. You'll learn about breeding and strategy. You'll have the chance to take elective courses that will focus on the areas most important to your dreams and ambitions. But most of all, I hope you'll learn virtue. Because at the end, that's what's most important. Things like talent, money, knowledge, fame, and power, these are all multipliers. They make you more of who you are. But if you lack virtue that will taint everything you do. So, yes, go to class, learn, earn, train, and grow. But I hope that your greatest learning takes place outside the classroom and outside this institute as you to understand life from the perspective of those who look and think differently from you, and learn to value the people and Pokemon around you as you would yourself. It is only then that you can truly have a meaningful impact on the world.
Now, that said, it's time to do some housekeeping. Many of you are from other regions, and we love the chance to have that kind of diversity. But we should mention that this land of Pensino has its own quirks. For instance, we don't allow people to just battle any time, anywhere, for any reason. Battling is only allowed in designated arenas. We have one of those on campus, and you'll find them scattered throughout the country. But using a Pokemon in a fight outside the arena is illegal. It's considered assault with a Pokemon, and it's as illegal as using a weapon. The only exception is in self-defense, as a last resort.
Also, there are certain moves that you need to have the proper gym badge to use outside of combat. These are fly, surf, and dig, as well as any move that changes the weather.
Well, I won't bore you any longer. It's time to get your starter.
There are tables at the back of the auditorium that now feature P
Players can pick their starter Pokemon now. We recommend allowing any first-evolution Pokemon that's not fossil or legendary be allowed as a starter. If any starter has the conflict nature, give it a new one at random (by generating a new sheet and copying the nature to the prior Pokemon.) The institute may not have every Pokemon at their disposal to give away, but they will happen to have any you deem worthy. The trainers also get 10 pokeballs and a pokegear at this point. The Pokegear is basically a smartphone with built-in radio and Pokedex feature.
Then, you can divide the next bits into courses. These aren't necessarily every single class the trainers are taking, but they give a sampling of the education while hopefully avoiding in-game drudgery. Each trainer in the party will all be taking all of the courses in the headings below, probably alongside the rivals.
POK 101: Knowing Your Pokemon Edit
This class teaches basic ways of getting to know Pokemon, including both psychology and physiology. It's also where the players will be learning how to read their Pokemon's character sheet.
The class is taught by Sylvia, a kind, middle-aged woman with a long pink dress with bows and ruffles, plus a parasol and a pair of reading glasses. She will explain that the bond between Pokemon and trainer runs deeper than anyone can imagine, and that as you get to know your Pokemon you'll be able to defy the odds an achieve the impossible. She won't point it out herself, but some knowledgeable student (probably Blanche) will point out to the players that she's the gym leader from Amethyst Valley.
BAT 101: Basics of Pokemon Combat Edit
Elite Trainer Nico teaches this class. He'll explain that he attended this college ten years ago and went on to beat the Elite 4. He comes back to teach classes on Pokemon combat.
This class takes place in the arena and has the Nico teaching trainers how to battle. Have your players face an equal number of rivals. Introduce the combat mechanics as you go, putting off anything that can be mentioned later. Make sure you explain how to train stats as Pokemon faint, and also how to mark ticks down for Pokemon that evolve by battling.
If the players win, they get control of the arena and can go immediately to Magnus Meadows and begin catching Pokemon. Just set the encounter of one Pokemon per player, because they haven't yet taken the class on catching Pokemon. Whether or not they win, they'll get a better chance in capture class.
All of the subheadings in these categories are required, but the players get the chance to choose some electives. Have the players pick two classes from the list below, and in the course of the class have them making a skill test on each class to see how well they do in the class with their result equaling the grade in the class (so an 80 would be a B). The skill being tested is in parentheses at the end of the class.
This is the time to explain how to do skill tests alongside Pokemon, as well as the way stats are trained when a Pokemon assists on a skill test, and that some Pokemon evolve by assisting. You can also have players learn some interesting information about the given field of study in the course of the class, and maybe meet some interesting characters from later in the campaign.
The electives are:
- HIS 101: Archaeology and Ancient Pokemon (Ancient)
- ART 101: Woodworking (Crafts)
- PE 101: Physical Training (Athletics)
- PSY 101: Intro. to Psychology (Empathy)
- MED 101: Basics of Field Medicine (Medicine)
- PE 102: Self-Defense for Trainers (Martial Arts)
- PE 103: Weight Lifting (Strength)
- PSY 102: Parapsychology: Theory and Practice (Mysteries)
- NAT 102: Wilderness Survival (Nature)
- SCI 101: Science of Poketech (Science)
NAT 101: Capturing Wild Pokemon Edit
Here the players will get a chance to visit (or revisit) Magnus Meadows. The instructor will have already won in an arena and will take the class on a nature hike. This class will teach the trainers how to spot, track, gather, and catch Pokemon. Give a complete explanation of catching wild Pokemon and then do a full encounter. The players each get 3 pokeballs to use during this class.
The players may want to do their own stuff from time to time as a part of their time in school. Let them. You may even want to encourage them.
The Second Year Edit
The break between the first and second years might be a natural stopping point between sessions.
ART 201: Pokemon Theater Edit
This is where you introduce Pokemon theater. Pokemon theater uses Pokemon as actors and assumes a world like Disney's Zootopia or Robin Hood: instead of people, there's Pokemon who do people stuff.
The Shakespeare Play was designed specifically for this one.
More Electives Edit
Give the players another chance to pick two more elective courses this year.
- PE 202: Swimming (Swimming)
- SCI 201: Physics (Science)
- NAT 201: Ecology and Conservation (Nature)
- HIS 201: Myth and Legend across Cultures (Mysteries)
- MED 202: Veterinary Practices for Pokemon (Medicine)
- COM 201: Public Speaking (Influence)
- MED 201: Healthy Eating for Healthy Lives (Health)
- PE 201: Rock Climbing (Climb)
- ART 201: Incorporting Pokemon into Art (Artistry)
- BIO 202: Paleontology Practicum (Ancient)
Med 203: Breeding Edit
This class teaches players how to breed Pokemon and care for an egg. A lot of the mechanics of Pokemon reproduction are still unknown, and Pokemon need to be left alone and unobserved to reproduce. Everyone gets one egg to care for, an offspring of their Pokemon. If their Pokemon was male, the egg will be a mystery Pokemon of the same egg group, GM's choice.
BAT 203: Advanced Tactics and Strategy Edit
In this course you can have the battling instructor introduce all the combat mechanics you haven't gotten to yet, especially covering
As the finale for the course, the players will be battling each other, with everyone getting 2 Pokemon, so they can try out some of their new catches, but otherwise the same rules and arena as last time.
This is where the players get their diploma and are sent out into the world. If anyone did particularly well, they may become valedictorian or salutatorian or at least graduate with honors.
The Practice Arena (Arena) Edit
There is a small arena on campus used for training battles. The challenging trainer can choose how many Pokemon the challenge will consist of and the arenas reset ownership hourly as a custom rule specific to the arena, and they're intended for frequent practice matches. The custom rules of this arena also state that everyone who participates in a fight gets $500, win or lose.
The arena is plain grass field, with no special effects of the terrain, suitable for learning the basics without throwing any complications into the mix.
Holding an arena grants the victor access to the local Magnus Meadows.
Teaching Pokemon Center Edit
This is the campus Pokemon Center that will heal any Pokemon that come to it and also acts as a place for med students to gain hands-on experience.
Nurse Joy runs most of the day-to-day operations here and she's bright and eager to help anyone who comes through the doors.
Magnus Meadows (Encounter) Edit
Trainers at the Magnus Institute for Pokemon studies conducted a breeding program to increase the local population of Eevee. It worked. The location is just a short walk from campus, and students can go there from time to time to catch Pokemon, provided someone who is controlling one of the arenas lets them.
Here are the Pokemon the trainers will find in the tall grass:
|9-12||Abra||Automatically escapes first chance it gets using Teleport.|
The Rivals Edit
A good team of rivals can provide someone for the party to face again and again, and see the story of how they develop. The following 5 characters can make good opponents for the players, start off with as many as are needed to get an even match for the players, gaining more if your number of players increases.
Spark is a bright kid with good instincts. He may not be as strong as Candela or as logical as Blanche, but he's quick-witted and his gut reaction is invariably the right one. Even if it isn't, he can fix things quicker than the others can figure out what went wrong.
We recommend Spark focus on electric Pokemon. Elekid is his starter and Zapdos is his ultimate Pokemon.
We recommend Candela focus on fire types with an interest in adding a Dragonite to her team because she likes dragons. She's a strong, athletic jock-type who is brave and courageous.
Candela would naturally focus on fire Pokemon. Magby is her starter and Moltres is her ultimate Pokemon.
Blanche is deeply interested in the mystic elements of life, plumbing the depths of both science and the paranormal to reach a deeper understanding than anyone has achieved before of the world and how it works. To unlock the true power of the mind, she seeks the cognitive powers of psychic Pokemon. However, she also can't throw a pokeball to save her life. She comes from a fishing village near Death Mountain and while she is sick of dealing with water and ice Pokemon, that's all she can catch by fishing and so that's pretty much all she uses. Maybe in time she'll come to grips with her past and her disgust with fishing village life and learn to embrace water and ice types.
We recommend Blanche mainly deal with water and ice Pokemon that are also psychic types or psychic enough, such as Starmie, Slowbro, Psyduck, and Jynx. Smoochum is her starter and Articuno is her ultimate Pokemon.
Harmony is a cute girl who normally wears white dresses and acts as the conscience of the group. She's always trying to bring people together and cheerily patches up the arguments that Blanche, Candela, and Spark are always getting into, as well as the disagreements between the two heads of her Doduo.
Harmony uses normal and flying types, such as Pidgeotto, Farfetch'd, and Spearow. Doduo is her starter and Lugia is her ultimate Pokemon.
Willow is a student who wants some real world experience before pursuing his master's degree. He specializes in botany and is looking for a way to derive medical compounds from natural plants and the exotic chemicals they produce. He's nerdy and bookish but also eager and energetic.
Willow goes with grass and poison types such as Oddish, Weepinbell, and possibly Grimer as well as any other plant Pokemon. Bulbasaur is his starter and Celebi is his ultimate Pokemon.